Please be careful when a contact sends you a hyperlink on a instant messaging or a social networking site for the upcoming few days. According to the latest developments, there is news about a new malicious worm (a self replicating virus) which is spreading itself through instant messaging and social networking websites by inserting a link in the IM conversation with a person whose computer is already infected. When you click the link it opens in a new browser , downloads itself on the user’s computer and repeats this process again hence spreading to all the other contacts .This might not sound good to people who are related to marketing or who like to share a lot of links through messengers or social networking sites .
Now, since that this virus is targeting almost all the popular Instant Messaging Services and Social Networking Sites ,it is very obvious that all the companies would be looking to protect their customers from this virus through various different methods. Like all of them, Windows Live Messenger is one of the IM services available and since it being very popular there are many existing users which are prone to this Virus. In order to protect their valued customers they have already started taking steps in the right direction. For instance the Windows people have temporarily turned off active hyperlinks for web addresses sent by contacts on their Windows Live Messenger Services.This is done because normally when messenger sees a web address it automatically turns it into a hyperlink, which when clicked opens the link in a new window and it gives the virus enough time to download itself. This Problem is only for the users of Windows live messenger 2009 and not for the ones using the 2011 version, thanks to the link safety feature. However you can still copy paste those link addresses sent to you and you should only do this to those links only whom you can fully trust, till there is some permanent solution for this virus. We know that this might seem to be a bit uncomfortable for some users but this is a significant first step that was necessary to prevent this virus from spreading.
In addition to this, there might be some more features that could be blocked on your IM. Some customers might also see a warning notification that some features might not be available. According to the Windows live Officials , they are actively working on different approaches to help protect their customers from this malicious worm and there will be prevention or cure available in the upcoming time and things will return to normal.
So till there is some permanent solution available to this virus , we will advise you to be careful and exercise caution with the links they receive through any source which is not trusted by them, especially from IMs and social networking sites as they may be the best platform for this virus to spread vastly as it will be able to get many people at one place. If you still think that your computer might be infected from this virus before you got aware of it, you can visit the security net centre and download the malicious software removal tool on the Windows Website.
[ Source Windows Team Blog ]